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Football Fans' Driving Leads to Injury Time

23 September 2013 | Updated 01 January 1970

With the football season now in full flow, new research by reveals more than 1 in 10 (11%) football fans said listening to football commentary on the radio while driving had caused them to have a near accident or an accident while driving listening to football commentary.

One in 25 (4%) have driven more aggressively when their team is losing; almost 1 in 5 (18%) would not let drivers displaying stickers/ scarves of arch rivals out at junctions; and West Bromwich Albion fans are the most stressed out when listening to commentary on the radio whilst driving.

A further 7% of football fans said listening to the football commentary had led to erratic driving. It seems that listening to goals being scored by your team and conversely goals being scored against your team prompt one in 25 (4%) to drive faster or more aggressively. 

Unsurprisingly, half (50%) of football fans say their stress levels rise when listening to commentary on the radio while driving, with West Bromwich Albion fans being most stressed out (83%); followed by Sunderland (67%) and Norwich City fans (60%). Crystal Palace and Stoke City fans were the calmest; with only 1 in 4 (25%) saying they experienced increased stress levels when listening to their club play on the radio. 

Not only does football commentary affect driving behaviour, it also affects people’s relationships. Nearly 8% of football fans admitted they have rowed with a partner in the car due to football commentary.

Other actions caused by listening to football commentary include punching in the air when driving, with four in 10 football fans (41%) doing this in celebration. In addition,16% have banged the steering wheel in frustration and half (50%) have shouted at the radio.

When it comes to driving etiquette (letting other drivers out at junctions and so on), almost 1 in 5 fans (18%) would discriminate against drivers of cars with stickers/scarves of arch rivals displayed.

Manchester City fans are most likely to discriminate against drivers - possibly displaying Manchester United scarves/ stickers in their cars. Plus, they are almost twice as likely (31%) to discriminate than Man United fans (17%).

Football fans that are most likely not to let rival fans out of junctions:

  1. Manchester City fans
  2. West Bromwich Albion fans
  3. Sunderland fans
  4. Cardiff City fans
  5. Norwich City fans

Gemma Stanbury, Head of Car Insurance at said: “We understand how avid football fans love supporting their football teams and listening to the games whenever they can, even if that means when they are driving.”

“However, worryingly there are clear consequences of listening to football commentary on the radio. The research indicates that people are being distracted when listening to their team and consequently accidents on the roads are being caused.” 

“Distracted driving is an important issue for road safety. Distracted driving from radio commentary, loud music, backseat drivers etc affects more than just drivers and passengers on our roads. The reality is that all road users -drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists - are affected by distracted driving. As a motorist, there are elements within your vehicle that you can control to minimise the distractions that you are susceptible to while you drive.

“We urge drivers to stay aware of their surroundings when driving,  keep the volume low enough on their radio not to block out the sounds of emergency vehicles, other vehicles or pedestrians."

Article written by ThisWeekinFM | Published 23 September 2013


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